Guardians of the Galaxy is enormous fun and a huge box-office hit, with loveable characters and a refreshing sense of humor about itself. Who wouldn’t want to extend the pleasures of the film with some merch, perhaps an action figure or a backpack?
The answer: anyone who is a fan of Gamora, the green-skinned assassin played by Zoe Saldana and the only female of the group.
Take a look at the Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy 16″ Large Backpack School Bag. Four of the five Guardians appear on it. Guess who is missing? (If you need help, read the comments.) Weirdly, Amazon also lists a “boy’s backpack” with all five Guardians on it. I would love to have someone explain what it is that makes it a “boy’s” backpack.
Or take a look at this story of a woman whose children wanted action figures from the film. Star Lord Peter Quill? No problem. Gamora? Problem. Kira Stewart-Watkins writes:
Star-Lord is everywhere but there was not a single Gamora to be seen. Even on the Guardians of the Galaxy t-shirts, no Gamora. Hey Marvel! She is one fifth of the team, what they heck! Even my six-year-old son noticed and passed up a t-shirt because he wanted her on it too. I asked the store if they were out, they said they do not carry her and suggested a Rocket raccoon instead. Not The Same.
Other people say “Well, just order her one online.” Okay, wait, so I get to say to my son “Hey here is your Star-Lord action figurine, we will buy him.” and to my other child “Oh wait, no Gamora, well we can order her online and you will get her in 5 to 6 business days.”
Something is very wrong here. Marvel, 44% of the opening audience of Guardians of the Galaxy were women! I know! I have seen it three times. And this is not just a problem with Gamora. We had this problem with Black Widow. We encounter this problem with her DC favorite, Wonder Woman. (I found her Wonder Woman t-shirt in a thrift store. And my daughter made the crown and bracers herself because she loves Wonder Woman so much.) I understand the politics of it, but a four-year-old does not.
So Marvel, do you know what my daughter thought after not finding yet another superheroine she loves in stores? Do you know what she said to me with her sad green eyes?
“Maybe superheroes aren’t for girls Mom.”
Superheroes are for girls. Bonehead studio and merchandising executives on the other hand, need to get a clue. Many thanks to Jenna Busch for alerting me to this problem.